- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - Amid concerns over rising gun violence, Cincinnati’s police chief announced plans to increase the number of officers on the city’s streets.

Chief Jeffrey Blackwell intends to temporarily reassign at least 50 officers from specialty units and internal jobs, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported (https://cin.ci/1GkKLtj ).

The announcement came after City Manager Harry Black requested a 90-day plan from the department to deal with the city’s growing violence problem. As of May 24, 162 people have been wounded by gunfire in the city. That figure is the worst in 10 years, according to a report released to the City Council’s Law and Public Safety committee.

Black also asked for a top-to-bottom review of the police department on Tuesday over concerns that it has been suffering from low morale and communication problems.

Police spokeswoman Tiffaney Hardy said that the plan to add more officers on the streets had been in the works before Black asked for a 90-day plan.

“We’re not going to take away officers needed elsewhere,” Hardy said. “It will be (a) balance of resources with the needs we have.”

Last week, city documents detailing Blackwell’s possible resignation surfaced - based on a May 20 conversation in which Blackwell suggested he might quit. Since then, Black has said that was not what he intended and that the separation agreement was abandoned.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, https://www.enquirer.com

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